According to a report from BloombergNEF, “Zero-Emission Vehicles Factbook,” which was prepared for COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, global momentum toward zero-emissions road transport has accelerated significantly since the last conference held in 2019.
The report also noted that annual electric vehicle (EV) sales are headed towards around 5.6 million units in 2021, which is up from 2.1 million in 2019 and 3.1 million in 2020. In fact, 7.2% of new cars sold globally in the first half of 2021 were electric, up from 2.6% in 2019 and 4.3% in 2020.
“The global clean road transport market will be worth around $244 billion this year,” according to the report.
In addition, automakers have collectively committed to selling approximately 40 million EVs per year by 2030, and 27% of automakers have planned phaseouts of combustion engines.
Still, the report cautioned, while many indicators are pointing in the right direction, “most of them still have a long way to go before we can be confident that we are on a zero-emissions trajectory.”
National, regional and local governments will need to continue to raise their ambitions and implement stable, long-term policies that induce the growth of zero-emissions transport while managing the phase-out of polluting vehicles.
“Manufacturers and technology companies will need to accelerate the development and deployment of vehicles and supporting technology, such as batteries, infrastructure and software,” according to the report.
In addition, the private and public sectors will need to work together to grow and develop the new supply chains and skills bases required to enable the transition in all countries.
“COP26 Declaration on Accelerating the Transition to 100% Zero Emission Cars and Vans,” the policy paper published by COP26, echoed the BloombergNEF report, and noted that, “As representatives of governments, businesses, and other organizations with an influence over the future of the automobile industry and road transportation, we commit to rapidly accelerating the transition to zero-emission vehicles to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Together, we will work towards all sales of new cars and vans being zero emission globally by 2040 or earlier, or by no later than 2036 in leading markets.”
Attendees and signatories to the agreement include major governments; governments in emerging markets and developing economies; city, state and regional governments; automobile manufacturers; business fleet owners and operators; investors in the industry; and financial institutions.
In the United States, 13 states and cities signed the agreement. (Interestingly, though, the United States as a nation did not sign the agreement.)
In addition, 11 automobile manufacturers signed the agreement, including Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo Cars.